There are moments in your life that will irreparably change things, but sometimes, embracing that disrepair is the only way to truly heal.

In June 2013, Tracy was riding one of her horses when she had a terrible accident. She was initially diagnosed in the hospital with a bruised back, but after five days of trying (unsuccessfully) to walk, an orthopedic doctor diagnosed her with a broken pelvis and sacrum. All of her life’s plans – including adopting a shelter dog – had to be put on hold during that time.

After months of sitting still to allow her bones to knit back together, she was finally able to start physical therapy, where she had to learn how to walk again. Two years afterward, Tracy went to Seattle Humane “just to look” and fell in love with the first dog she saw. Apparently it was mutual, because the dog placed his (only) front paw on the glass and looked at her with his only eye. He’d been available for adoption for mere minutes, and he was perfect.

This black Labrador retriever mix had lost his left leg and eye after he was hit by a car in Yakima, Washington. He’d had to learn how to navigate the world after an accident that was even more horrific than her own.

After adopting this joyful dog, Tracy walked him every morning and evening, and the two of them became stronger and faster together. People often asked her about his disabilities, because his injuries were readily apparent, but Tracy’s weren’t. He helped her build the confidence to begin running again and he revealed to her just how important it was to have more balance in her life. When an opportunity arose, Tracy became the co-publisher of Pet Connection Magazine. In this position, she’s been able to connect with her community as she never has before, and Jack has been a big part of that.

Their story resonated with some documentary filmmakers and a movie about Jack and Tracy will be coming out this spring. Tracy is so thankful that embracing their disrepair will enable them to help others heal – and hopefully even more people will go to local shelters “just to look.”